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February 2011

January 2011

Not Another Hobby


My grandma used to have this ginormous loom in the basement of her old house. I used to just look at it, but one day she decided to show me how to weave. "Keep the edges straight, and there is a basket of balls made up of cut up old sheets. Have at it". (Well, in Swedish, but that was the gist of the conversation.) Not being able to do many things in moderation, I remember weaving until 4-5 am every morning for a few days, blasting my music, totally in the zone.The Weaving Zone. My grandma would come down on occasion, checking my work; she had no problems ripping it back, or fixing my tension, but how else do you learn? I didn't really understand back then how lucky I was to learn all these things from her, it just seemed like the thing to do. (Right, I was in my early twenties and should have been bar-hopping, I suppose. Instead I sat for hours on end in the room with the oil heater. At least it was always warm.)


Who knew sheets made such beatiful woven patterns? It was kind of a challenge to come up with a pattern (and making sure you had enough for the entire runner). Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the other one I made. It was lost somewhere along a cross country move.


The blue one she sent me, is one of my favorites.


She told me "oh, I just have this little scrap one." It's a little larger than a placemat. She must have used yarn to create some interesting stripes. What was that; "Necessity is the Mother of Invention"?  They didn't use a snobby, yuppiefied word such as "recycling" back when she was young. It was just the responsible thing to do; use & re-use what you have, because that is all you have. I also think that designing something beautiful within those constraints is more of a challenge than having an all-access-pass to everything you could want.

Love the earthiness of this one.


I must have one for each season & holiday. Pretty sure I slept on those purple, green & white sheets too...


Not sure if this one was bought or made. Very traditionally Swedish.


It reminds me of the Sami art. the different shades of their woven blankets & wall hangings.


And now the linen cabinet is organized. No, I am not buying a loom. Really, I'm not. At least not until we move. Not a large one anyway.


The lake is hiding behind that little barn and the line of trees. We used to go fishing there every summer. The term "fishing" used very loosely. Love this view from the house, it looks so very cold, because it was.

I forgot to mention another very cool thing. In my Grandma's little town they had a "v√§vstuga", a weaving cottage. You could rent space on a loom a month at a time, for your project. It was great if you didn't have a large enough loom at home for the project you wanted to work on. They were mostly used for rugs and large table cloths. Now, if you could attach a wine bar to one of those, I don't think I'd ever leave. 


P.S. No, the top picture is  not of my Grandma's old house, it's a little cottage in the back of the actual house, but I always loved how it looked every winter, almost completely covered in snow.

Oh, swatch it.

Only I didn't say fudge. I mean. Anyway.


So that looks ok, right? Finally. Cotton-Ease on sz 4 needles. Yes, size 4. I am a loose knitter, as they say. This would be swatch number five. Mhmm. In the middle there I decided to try another pattern. It didn't really work out. Twice (because I never learn the first time). So back to Umaro, and size 4 needles. I would have to knit until eternity to get this completed with the correct size. And it is such a gorgeous pattern, I just didn't want to knit it in something that would weigh a ton. Not for someone itty bitty. That's all I am going to say about that.


Berroco Comfort Chunky is the Savior (after the second half-swatch, size 7 needles). There is not an ounce of natural fibers in this yarn, but it FEELS nice. And it's easy to wash & dry. That is going to be important. (Hint, hint.)

Did I mention how important it is to swatch things?  Although, after six 4"x6" swatches I kind of feel like the project is done. Except they all looked aweful. Until the last one. And it's even green.


So we have a new project, and the Print O' Forever Shawl is on hold. For now. I'm not worried, it's not going anywhere.